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Old 06-17-2013, 02:53 AM   #6
soambah
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Fan#: 109548
Location: Trenton, NJ
What I Drive: 2000 Amazon Geen SE Wagon

Posts: 46
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First I want to thank you all for your excellent suggestions. The A/C now works!

To make a long story short, it didn’t have enough refrigerant. The compressor clutch was not kicking in. Had the equilibrium pressure been near 90 psi I would have gone looking for a fault in the clutch control circuits. However with an equilibrium pressure of only 50 psi it was clear that the system was low on refrigerant. I figured that the low pressure switch might be open. If it was I could monitor it and just add refrigerant until the switch closed. However, I never figured out how to unplug the damned thing!

So I decided on adding refrigerant in 10 psi increments. After each 10 psi increase I would start the engine and see if the clutch would kick in and run the compressor.

The third 10 psi increment got the compressor cycling. Then, I followed the advice to turn on the A/C at it’s coldest setting and highest fan speed and then add refrigerant to the low side until the compressor stops cycling. That did the trick!

I turned the car off and let it cool for several hours. The outside temperature was 78 F The equilibrium pressure was now just over 90 psi. I started the car, turned on the A/C set to it’s coldest with the fan at it’s highest and inserted a thermistor probe into the passenger side middle outlet. The thermistor settled at a temperature of 48 F and the air blowing out was definitely chilly.

For the next few days I will check morning equilibrium pressures, and evenings, after the car’s been running, I will check for leaks with soapy water.

Thanks again for everybody’s help
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